It always cracks me up when my Mom tells me how she never used to let me or my sister Lindy get messy when we ate. She says she was always wiping our faces and our hands clean during meals and snacks. I’m pretty sure I did the same thing last year when Cadence was younger and first starting to eat solid foods. I think I felt bad letting her get too messy, considering I was the one who was feeding her. So, if she had pureed sweet potatoes smeared all over her face, I was absolutely the one to blame.
These days, however, it is a much different story. Cadence has been feeding herself for quite awhile now–first mastering the art of picking up chunks of steamed fruits and veggies and cheese, and now graduating to using her very own bowls and utensils. I learned very early that mealtime was going to be a very messy process. And since Cadence went through a long period where she absolutely refused to wear a bib, I decided the only way to keep her from ruining absolutely every piece of clothing that she owned was simply to strip her down to her diaper, throw a couple of towels down on the carpet beneath her high chair, and let her go whole hog and not worry about the mess.
All in all, Cadence is a pretty neat eater. She has moments where she’ll fling a handful of string beans in excitement or frustration, and there have been several incidences where we have caught her trying to hide cheese and blueberries under her thighs as though she is trying to save them for later. Other than that though, she is really quite fastidious when she eats.
The one exception, though, is always pasta. It doesn’t matter if I give her only the slightest bit of sauce, she somehow manages to coat every inch of her skin with a thin layer of red tomato sauce before the meal is over. It’s in her hair, her ears, under her arms, between her toes. By the time she’s finished, she looks like she’s in the middle of some sort of full-body marinara exfoliating spa treatment. I can’t really complain though, because she somehow manages to keep the mess contained to only her body, and she’ll eat every last bite of pasta and veggies that I put in front of her.
So, on nights like tonight, there is only one solution to the marinara mayhem, and that is a nice, warm, after dinner bath.